Advertisement
The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
  
  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

20 Tips for Sticking to Your Meds

December 1998

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

  1. Store bottled water in the car and at work at all times for medication taking.

  2. If you have roommates or visitors and don't want to take medication in front of them, it may help to keep a bottle of water by your bed so that you can take your pills in privacy.

  3. Choose a regular time and place to count out all your pills for the following week (reserve four minutes out of 1,440 minutes a day to count your pills for the week). This is especially important if you have been instructed to increase or decrease your doses at intervals of several days.

  4. Get several small containers. Ask your pharmacist for empty prescription bottles (or use resealable plastic bags; relabeled film cans; or a pocket-sized plastic tackle box) to count in your future week's medications and store them in the fridge.

    Advertisement

  5. You can also put each day's morning, noon, early evening, and late-night doses into separate components of the see-through plastic box that holds a week's supply of pills. Ask your treatment advocate for seven-day pill boxes.

  6. Buy an alarm watch or beeper. Ask your treatment advocate or pharmacist for a timer.

  7. Keep Post-It notes on bathroom mirrors, in your car and on your calendar to remind you to take your meds.

  8. Tape your schedule to your refrigerator door.

  9. Cut out your favorite medication reminder illustration from Positive Living and other publications and stick it on your fridge as a visual cue.

  10. Ask someone you live with (spouse, partner, family member, roommate) to help you remember to take your pills at the prescribed time.

  11. Ask your doctor questions and demand detailed explanations until you understand everything to your satisfaction.

  12. Be honest with your health care provider about missed doses or doses taken incorrectly. If they don't know, they cannot help you.

  13. Don't panic if you miss a dose. Find out from your physician or pharmacist what to do if you miss a dose.

  14. Bring a family member or friend to appointments so that two people ask questions and get information.

  15. See a treatment advocate and a nutrition advocate at least once if you haven't already done so. If you have, it may be a good idea to check in with them once in a while to get updated and practical information on your meds and answer any questions you have on your HIV management.

  16. Practice with low-dose vitamin tablets and follow the dosing schedule (take them with the same dietary restrictions).

  17. Plan ahead for changes in routine, such as vacations or changing jobs.

  18. Make special plans for weekends and holidays.

  19. Ask around. Others may have some tricks that will work for you. And share yours with others!

  20. If you are not ready to make a serious attempt at adherence, you might be better off to delay treatment.


This article has been reprinted at The Body with the permission of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA).

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!



  
  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by AIDS Project Los Angeles. It is a part of the publication Positive Living.
 
See Also
6 Reasons Why People Skip Their HIV Meds
Word on the Street: Advice on Adhering to HIV Treatment
Adherence Tips
Advertisement:
Find out how a Walgreens specially trained pharmacist can help you

Tools
 

Advertisement